People really love their phones, but want better batteries
Jim Hanzo Reporting
The majority of smartphone users couldn't care less about all the new gimmicks and novelty features many phone makers are using to try and woo them.
A poll conducted by uSwitch.com found most just want a longer battery life, and a phone that can get wet.
We asked people in New Orleans what they would want for smartphone improvements.
"Be unbreakable would be nice, since it's like my eighth iPhone," said one worker downtown.
"I'd have it have a tape measure so I could measure things, measure distances, like a laser pointer that would give me the distance between here and there," one woman said.
"A better GPS," another woman responded. "The walking GPS doesn't tell you which direction to go."
"When you can talk to Siri, she's not all that accurate, she's not all that great, she doesn't respond all that well, and so I'd like Siri to be improved so that she responds to the questions that we actually ask," another downtown visitor noted.
Most people don't care about the 3D screens or fingerprint scanners, customers really want their battery to last longer according to 89 percent of those polled.
67 percent say a waterproof case is important.
A zoom camera lens was a close third.
Another study found that we have become almost inseparable from our smartphones.
According to the IDC, 79 percent of people 18 to 44 have their smartphone with them 22 hours a day.
The research also says 4 out of 5 smartphone users check their phones within the first 15 minutes of waking up, and 80 percent of those say it's the first thing they do in the morning.
Licensed clinical social worker in New Orleans and Baton Rouge, Jason Pitre says that indicates people avoiding real life.
"You start to avoid things, and that's what a lot of this is, avoidance behavior," said Pitre. "It becomes avoidance behavior, not just addictive, compulsive behavior, but a pattern of avoidance and it's very easy and convenient to go to your phone and escape."
He says this behavior can lead to real problems.
"It becomes a problem when we're preoccupied with technology, and when we're putting a lot of our energy and a lot of our attention on a smartphone that we carry all day. It definitely interferes with one's ability to bond with other people when we're busy with our phones," Pitre noted.
Pitre's suggestion is to take that break from technology every now and then.
"Try to be present and be with your loved ones and maybe put the phone down and take a break and give your eyes a break," Pitre suggests.
That may be difficult.
49 percent of the entire phone using U.S. population uses a smartphone. By 2017 that number is expected to reach 68 percent.